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NHL DraftKings & FanDuel DFS Primer: Saturday (4/20)

NHL DraftKings & FanDuel DFS Primer: Saturday (4/20)

The NHL playoffs are upon us. The league rolls out a two-game slate to get the action started, and those contests include the Islanders taking on the Hurricanes, while the Bruins host the Maple Leafs in the later game.

I’m heading the DFS route today, where I’ve compiled this nine-man unit below. This lineup is crafted for the classic $50,000 salary format at DraftKings, but I’ve also listed each player’s price at FanDuel’s $55,000 salary equivalent competition. Here’s who I believe is primed for a big night on the ice.

Today’s NHL DFS Picks & Analysis

The lineup below is based on DraftKings, but FanDuel prices are also listed.

C1: Sebastian Aho | $7,400 DK, $8,100 FD

One of the guys I’ll splurge on tonight is Sebastian Aho. This Carolina offense runs through Aho, who led the team in scoring with 89 points (36G, 53A) this season. The centerman is riding a two-game point streak (1G, 1A) entering the postseason. In four head-to-head games with the Isles this season, Aho registered a point in each game (3G, 1A).

C2: Charlie Coyle | $4,400 DK, $6,200 FD

With the way the budget worked out, I have to play Charlie Coyle, rather than putting top-line center Pavel Zacha in the lineup. However, Coyle (25G, 35A) out-scored Zacha (21G, 38A) this season, so maybe it’s not such a bad thing to opt for the second-line center. Plus, you’ll see below I have Brad Marchand on the roster, which gives us a stack on Boston’s second line. Toronto finished the season ranked 30th in high-danger shots against, giving up 205. Only the Sharks (221) and Blue Jackets (218) were worse. This is an opportunistic Bruins team. I like Coyle’s chances of adding a point or two tonight.

W1: Jake Guentzel | $7,800 DK, $9,000 FD

Jake Guentzel has been playing like his hair’s on fire since coming to Raleigh from Pittsburgh at the deadline. The winger amassed 25 points (8G, 17A) over 17 games played for the Canes, while also tallying 53 shots on goal (3.1 SOG/G). He’s currently riding an eight-game point streak, where he’s registered 13 points (6G, 7A). Let’s double up with Aho and Guentzel, who are linemates on the top line and spearhead the top power play unit (2nd, 26.91%).

W2: Brad Marchand | $5,100 DK, $6,500 FD

Boston’s a pretty top-heavy team and that’s likely why they won’t make a deep run in the playoffs this season. However, that allows us in the early stages of the postseason to ride with a veteran skater like Brad Marchand. The winger finished behind only David Pastrnak in scoring this season, racking up 67 points (29G, 38A). He’s also second to Pastrnak in TOI/G (19:06) and SOG (207), so he’s still producing offensively. As mentioned, Toronto’s defense is pretty shaky, so Marchand will have chances to light the lamp at home tonight.

W3: Max Domi | $2,800 DK, $4,800 FD

Toronto’s offense may be up against it in this series as they attempt to score on one of the league’s best defenses. However, at $2,800, it’s tough to pass up on Max Domi as a depth winger tonight. The 29-year-old racked up five points (1G, 4A) over his last five regular-season games. His offensive production has gone through the roof since moving onto Auston Matthews‘ line. Ultimately, that’s the angle with getting Domi into the lineup tonight. At this price, hopefully, he gets on the ice with Matthews and contributes to a goal or two.

D1: Charlie McAvoy | $4,900 DK, $6,200 FD

When you look at the four teams taking the ice tonight, there isn’t much offensive production coming from the defensemen. With that being said, my thought process is to fade the least stable of the four defenses, and that’s Toronto’s defense and goaltending. They finished the year ranked 20th in overall defense (3.02 GAA) and 23rd on the PK (76.89%).

Let’s play Charlie McAvoy, who added 47 points (12G, 35A) throughout the regular season. He’s also the team’s leader in TOI/G (24:50), and good things happen when you’re on the ice. Look for the top defenseman to have a couple of scoring chances tonight against a flimsy Toronto defense.

D2: Brady Skjei | $4,300 DK, $5,300 FD

Carolina’s defensive core doesn’t contribute as much offense as some teams, but I think it’s worth taking a flier on Brady Skjei as a depth defenseman tonight. Skjei racked up 47 points (13G, 34A) over the regular season, topping his fellow defensemen on Carolina’s roster. Skjei closed the season on a five-game point streak (5A). He added four helpers in four head-to-head games against the Isles this season.

G: Frederik Andersen | $8,100 DK, $8,200 FD

I suppose I’ll take the low-hanging fruit and fade the worst of the four offenses playing today. Let’s ride with Frederik Andersen (or Pyotr Kochetkov) in net this afternoon. Make sure to set an alarm and check back on who gets the start between the pipes. The Isles finished the regular season ranked 22nd in overall offense (3.0 GPG) and 19th on the power play (20.35%). Those are both the worst of the four teams taking the ice tonight. As for Andersen, specifically, he’s been electric in net, going 13-2-0 with a 1.84 GAA and .932 SV%.

UTIL: Andrei Svechnikov | $5,200 DK, $6,600 FD

Let’s round out our lineup with Andrei Svechnikov, who missed some time early in the year, but still finished the regular season with 52 points (19G, 33A) over 59 games. Of the four teams playing today, New York brings in the second-worst defense, conceding 2.90 goals per game. Svechnikov is listed on the third line, but I view this as an opportunity for the winger to clean up as the Isles will likely focus their defensive efforts toward the top lines. Let’s take a flier on Svechnikov as our util-man tonight.


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